2000 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  2000 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 13 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One season
Spa Francorchamps
Spa Francorchamps
Date 27 August 2000
Official name LVIII Foster's Belgian Grand Prix
Location Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Course Permanent racing facility
6.968 km (4.330 mi)
Distance 44 laps, 306.592 km (190.507 mi)
Weather Wet at start, drying, Air Temp: 14°C
Pole position
Driver Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:50.646
Fastest lap
Driver Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
Time 1:53.803 on lap 30
Podium
First Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
Second Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW

The 2000 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on August 27, 2000 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. It was the thirteenth race of the 2000 Formula One season. The race was the 58th Belgian Grand Prix and the 46th to be held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The race was held over 44 laps of the 6.9-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 307 kilometres.

The race was won by Finnish driver, Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren MP4/15. The win was Hakkinen's fourth win of the season and McLaren's seventh. Hakkinen won by 1.1 seconds over German driver Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F1-2000. Schumacher's younger brother Ralf Schumacher, driving a Williams FW22, finished third.


Report[edit]

After the disappointment of the Hungarian Grand Prix where they were clearly slower than the McLarens of Häkkinen and Coulthard, Ferrari desperately needed a win at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. In qualifying though, Mika Häkkinen in the McLaren again proved he was the man to beat, Jarno Trulli dragging his Jordan-Mugen Honda onto the front row and with rookie Jenson Button a surprise 3rd quickest in the impressively quick Williams-BMW. Michael Schumacher was struggling in 4th, clearly his Ferrari not up to pace with Häkkinen.

The rain arrived on Sunday, drenching the circuit and forcing race stewards to start the race under the safety car. The start-finish straight is short, leading into a sharp hairpin (La Source) which has been the site of many incidents in past races. Thus, safety concerns were heeded. It was not long before the safety car entered the pits and the race began. The early stage was no contest. Häkkinen was pulling away in the wet conditions, with championship rivals Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard trapped in traffic. However, Schumacher's job was made a lot easier with Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli colliding into La Source, leaving the door open for the German to push up into 2nd. Ralf Schumacher in the other Williams-BMW now inherited 3rd.

However, dry lines started to appear. The front-runners were clearly not prepared to take the gamble and switch to dry tyres, but Jean Alesi in the Prost Peugeot basically had nothing to lose and tried his luck. After his tyre change, he was clearly the fastest driver on the circuit, triggering teams to call their drivers in to do the same. McLaren made a tactical error by not calling Häkkinen and Coulthard into the pits immediately, costing them valuable time and allowing a now charging Michael Schumacher to close the gap. Meanwhile, Alesi's inspired decision had earned him a net 4th place after the pitstops.

These semi-wet conditions obviously suited Michael Schumacher's wet set-up car more than it did Häkkinen's dryer set-up car, and the German started to close the gap to the Finn. Then, Häkkinen had a spin on standing water and allowed Schumacher to take the lead. For the next handful of laps, Schumacher was comfortably extending the gap. ITV commentator Martin Brundle believed that Schumacher's clever use of the remaining wet line from Raidillon to Les Combes to cool his tyres (hence maximise their performance) was playing an integral role in his ability to pull away so easily from Häkkinen. Schumacher pitted at about half distance of the 44 lap race and filled his car with enough fuel to complete the race. Häkkinen kept going for a short while and he too completed his final pitstop.

Schumacher was still comfortably in front, but now obviously faster Häkkinen was clearly closing on the Ferrari. The track was now fully dry and Häkkinen was on a charge. Schumacher had set up his Ferrari for wet conditions due to the morning weather, meaning he had a fairly high downforce setting. He was particularly slow down the straights (notably through Eau Rouge, through Raidillon and up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes). Meanwhile, Häkkinen had a more dry-weather based set-up in anticipation of a primarily dry race. This would prove crucial in the outcome of the battle.

In the final stages of the race, Häkkinen was using his straight-line speed advantage to good effect as he aimed a move up the inside of Schumacher up the Kemmel Straight approaching Les Combes. In typically robust fashion, Schumacher was going to have none of this and almost forced Häkkinen onto the grass at over 200 miles an hour. The Finn was unimpressed with that manoeuvre. He would not have to wait long for payback, in fact the very next lap at the same spot. As he and Schumacher were about to lap Ricardo Zonta, Schumacher went around the BAR driver to the left but Häkkinen went around Zonta's right and outbraked Schumacher into Les Combes. Michael Schumacher put in a good drive but in the end, he could not contain a simply faster Häkkinen. Ralf Schumacher also put in a great performance to take the final step of the podium, outracing David Coulthard in the second McLaren.

Häkkinen now led the championship with 74 points, with Schumacher 6 points behind.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 1 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:50:646
2 6 Italy Jarno Trulli Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:51.419 +0.773
3 10 United Kingdom Jenson Button Williams-BMW 1:51.444 +0.798
4 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:51.552 +0.906
5 2 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:51.587 +0.941
6 9 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1:51.743 +1.097
7 22 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1:51.799 +1.153
8 5 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 1:51.926 +1.280
9 8 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Jaguar-Cosworth 1:52.242 +1.596
10 4 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:52.444 +1.798
11 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 1:52.796 +2.110
12 7 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 1:52.885 +2.239
13 23 Brazil Ricardo Zonta BAR-Honda 1:53.002 +2.356
14 15 Germany Nick Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 1:53.193 +2.547
15 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1:53.211 +2.565
16 18 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 1:53.237 +2.591
17 14 France Jean Alesi Prost-Peugeot 1:53.309 +2.663
18 17 Finland Mika Salo Sauber-Petronas 1:53.357 +2.711
19 12 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 1:53.403 +2.757
20 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 1:53.912 +3.266
21 20 Spain Marc Gené Minardi-Fondmetal 1:54.680 +4.034
22 21 Argentina Gastón Mazzacane Minardi-Fondmetal 1:54.784 +4.138

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 44 1:28:14.494 1 10
2 3 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 44 +1.104 4 6
3 9 Germany Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 44 +38.096 6 4
4 2 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 44 +43.281 5 3
5 10 United Kingdom Jenson Button Williams-BMW 44 +49.914 3 2
6 5 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan-Mugen-Honda 44 +55.984 8 1
7 22 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda 44 +1:12.380 7  
8 8 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Jaguar-Cosworth 44 +1:27.808 9  
9 17 Finland Mika Salo Sauber-Petronas 44 +1:28.670 18  
10 7 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Jaguar-Cosworth 44 +1:31.555 12  
11 16 Brazil Pedro Diniz Sauber-Petronas 44 +1:34.123 15  
12 23 Brazil Ricardo Zonta BAR-Honda 43 +1 Lap 13  
13 12 Austria Alexander Wurz Benetton-Playlife 43 +1 Lap 19  
14 20 Spain Marc Gené Minardi-Fondmetal 43 +1 Lap 21  
15 19 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 43 +1 Lap 20  
16 18 Spain Pedro de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 42 +2 Laps 16  
17 21 Argentina Gastón Mazzacane Minardi-Fondmetal 42 +2 Laps 22  
Ret 4 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 32 Fuel pressure 10  
Ret 14 France Jean Alesi Prost-Peugeot 32 Fuel pressure 17  
Ret 15 Germany Nick Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 12 Engine 14  
Ret 11 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton-Playlife 8 Electrical 11  
Ret 6 Italy Jarno Trulli Jordan-Mugen-Honda 4 Collision 2  

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

Classification
Qualifying
"2000 Belgian GP: Qualification". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
Race
"2000 Belgian Grand Prix". The Official Formula 1 Website. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
"2000 Belgian GP: Classification". ChicaneF1.com. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 


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2000 Hungarian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2000 season
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2000 Italian Grand Prix
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1999 Belgian Grand Prix
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